Saturday, February 27, 2016


It is fair to say I have never been one of those guys who watch or follow basketball. It's just not my thing and really never has been. Of course being only 5'8, that might have something to do with it. But even before that when I was sure I would grow to a strapping 6'3, bball just wasn't something I was drawn to. Not sure why as I do like to participate in a variety of sports.

Within the last week or so the NBA had their All Star game. (I didn't watch). The only time in the past few years I have seen any NBA action is the Christmas Day game and that is because we visit family who has the game up on the tube. (I guess tube is a little dated. Perhaps I should say screen. Okay, screen it is. However 'boob screen' just doesn't have the same ring to it).

The day after the game I tuned in my sports radio show on my drive into work. All I heard was talk about the game and a certain retirement looming over the sport. Although I know the sport and the major participants, I've never understood the culture that surrounds it. I listened to the hosts and it was nothing but a couple guys that sounded like they were 'wanna-bees'. I wanna be part of that culture. It was basketball slang and a show not suited to a general sports audience.

Now I know I'm an old guy but listening to two guys try and sound hip to that world just didn't live up to how I wanted my morning to start. Unfortunately there isn't much on the radio these days that holds my interest. It was a long ride into work that day ...

And don't even get me started on the 'sneaker' thing that ties into the basketball world.  How someone needs +$200 pairs of sneakers every time another 'star' puts out a new set is ridiculous. Are there really 125 different sets of Air Jordans through the years?

I just don't get it ...

Saturday, February 13, 2016

A day of love and loss

It has now been three years this Valentine's Day that a voice that eloquently graced these pages fell silent. To readers of this blog, you know him best as North of 50. To myself and my family, he was the keystone of our family, the one in the middle that seemed to hold us all together.

To that end, this holiday has become bitter-sweet for many of us. We see the primping and gift-giving that surrounds us this February 14th. We long to reach out to our loved ones and embrace them with the love, fun and frivolity that Valentine's Day has come to symbolize. But for my family it is tinged with sadness at my brother's passing. His children that have come together as couples feel the pang of loss on this day.

For me, it is something I have been able to begin to look past. Nothing will ever take away his memory, his smile, his intellect. But my life and the life of his children must move forward. It is the natural way of things. Some may think that harsh. I do not. We were raised in a religious family. Death though sad, was also a celebration of God and his calling of a soul home to heaven.

So why do I write this post? For me it is a way to reach out to my nieces and nephews and family that called Don father and uncle, that they may themselves begin to again embrace this holiday as a celebration of their love for each other. My brother celebrated family like none other. Family is everything to him. Know that each of you now should embrace again the spirit of this holiday and turn your hearts away from loss and remember his embrace shall be with you always. His life was about celebration, a celebration that continues until that day when we all embrace him again in God's love.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Man's Man

As one slides along on our blue marble ones perspectives tend to change over time. That is a natural occurrence, at least I would hope so. Not only does society change and evolve but so does its stereotypes of what we as people should become. At the end of it all, we are who we think we should become.

My world is not the world of my father or my father's father. They lived in different times and had different struggles. But I ask myself, what do we have in common? I would classify my father as a 'man's man', but his world is not my world. Although times and attitudes change, I find myself asking what does it mean to be a man in this world? In my opinion, it means to be well-rounded. So, what does that mean? It means a man isn't stuck in a single world. He has evolved through experiences and is adaptable to be able to fit into many worlds.

We all live in our own world built by our experiences. One is not necessarily any better or worse than another, but why would one limit themselves to only one set of experiences? Why can't the man who grew up farming the land not feel like he could attend an opera in New York City and fit the circumstances? And in reverse, why couldn't a big city man feel relatively at home in the mountains of Tennessee? That's what I mean by someone who has grown into his own and become a man's man.

As I began to ponder this existence I started jotting down a list of many of those things I believe every man should experience in his life. Now, this is not an all-encompassing list and I will surely add to it as I continue my walk through this life with My Beloved.

Love a dog; bury a dog.
Learn to play a musical instrument
Be in a play or theater event
Build something completely from scratch
Renovate or refurbish something
Witness a birth
Swim in an ocean
Pilot a plane (even if it's just for a few seconds)
Change parts on a car
Play a competitive team sport
Help a child with their homework
Explore a cave
Hike a trail
Sleep outside in a tent under the stars with a child just for fun
Learn to dance
Learn to fly-fish
Grow a beard or a mustache
Learn to drive a stick-shift
Help someone who could never pay you back

These are just some of the things that would give a man a wide-ranging set of experiences and broaden his perspectives on the world. And a note, I have not yet done all these things. Some I may never have the opportunity to do. We'll see. I hope my future is not so limited.

Many people have their own thoughts as to what it means to be a man. To be a man is to be confident in one's own skin without being abjectly arrogant. These are my thoughts, ever evolving as they are.